Event Sponsorship: How to Get a Sponsor

  • Olivia Hurtado
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Event sponsorship marketing is all about “how to get a sponsor” for a venue, concert, festival, fair, corporate, fundraising, or other types of events. It’s a great option for increasing revenue to support your next live entertainment event.

More than that, getting the right brand to sponsor your event can also help increase attendance. Having an established company or brand sponsor your event builds credibility for it.  It shows potential attendees that there are large supporters behind your event that they know and trust. The process of finding the right companies for sponsorship opportunities can be a bit difficult if you don’t know how to narrow down your search. If you’re thinking about how to get a sponsor for your next event, here are some suggestions to get you started.

The Basics of How to Get a Sponsor for Events

1.    Determine Your Events Demographic

The first thing to think about in your search for the best companies to contact for sponsorship is the demographics and psychographics of the people who will be attending your event. First, look at the people who will be coming to the event and what, if any, characteristics they may share. Will the attendees be mostly male, mostly female or a mix of both? Will they be a young adults, families with kids, older adults or a mixed age group? Research the interests and hobbies of your target audience, e.g., activities, drinks, art, sports, music interests, attending concerts, etc. The traits of the target audience for your event are important for both event promotion and a key to how to find sponsors for it. This data is a critical piece of info needed in your “how to get a sponsor” plan as you go about marketing your event sponsorship opportunities.

event sponsorshipAfter zeroing in on the demographics and interests of your attendees, you should start looking at brands whose customers have similar audience characteristics. For example, If your event is going to be mainly for the younger adult crowd, I would suggest approaching a seltzer brand as one of your alcohol sponsorship opportunities. Seltzer brands are likely to be interested because the demographics of their consumers skew younger and are mostly millennials. An older demographic is more likely to purchase beer over seltzer. The more you research to match sponsors with your audience traits, the better your outcome will be with securing those sponsorship companies.

2.    Look at Similar Event Sponsors

event sponsorsLocation

During your search to find sponsors, you want to look at local events in the same area as your upcoming event. Which sponsors were involved with those events? This can give you a bit of a head start on which local brands already see event sponsorships as a good business strategy. A Google search is usually a great place to start to look for events in your area. Most sponsorship companies are highlighted publicly on event websites so it should be easy to find sponsors for their event. If a brand is already sponsoring another event, they will be more inclined to spend money on other events that are similar in their market.

Audience

In addition to researching local events, you should also research other events that have similar audience traits. If the event is in another state, that’s fine. This type of research can hep you to find larger, regional, or national brands and companies that may be interested in your sponsorship opportunities. If your audience characteristics reflects their customer base and if the event is large enough, you just might end up with a larger brand to be one of your event sponsorship brands. That’s even more credibility for your venue or event.

3.    Reach Out to Established Companies

sponsor eventsCompanies or brands that are more established are the brands that are more likely to have the funding to sponsor events. Those brands also could help support the event and help you get it to the level that you are wanting. With more funds or in-kind support, you can grow the event to be more creative to draw a larger audience. A good sponsorship partner is one that collaborates with you on ideas for the event and the sponsorship assets that would keep them as a long-term sponsor. Be sure to approach established companies in the area. They can be a major asset to your event beyond sponsorship.

When reaching out to those more established brands you really need to reach out to the right person. Usually, large companies have a person that works specifically on sponsorship marketing so you would try and connect with that person. I would try and get in contact with their marketing director as well since that person would be above the sponsorship person. These people are the ones who usually plan out how they want to market their brands and sponsorship is a part of their marketing strategy.

Many organizations will also do event sponsorship as part of their public affairs initiatives. They want their brand to be seen by the community as sponsoring worthwhile events. This path to event sponsorship is different than working with the marketing side of a company. The events in which the public affairs side of an organization would choose to get involved with are typically limited to community or charity events.

Do your research on the company or organization and try and find the person who will the final decision-making authority. You don’t want to waste time contacting just anyone in the organization. You want the decision maker. This way you can quickly give them your pitch and get started on process of getting them as a sponsor for your event.

4.    Stay Organized

getting a sponsor for an eventAnother important point in the process of “how to get a sponsor” for your event is staying organized. The bigger the event, the more potential prospects or leads you have based on all your research. You need organization so you know which person and organization to contact. You also need to keep the results of those contacts in a database or preferably, a Customer Relationship Management System (CRMS) so you can access previous interactions and where things stand at any one moment.

Organization is vital to a good sponsorship development process. CRMS and project management applications can be very helpful so that you stay on top of who you would like to reach out to as well as who you have already reached out to. Using spreadsheets, project management and customer relationship management applications are an essential part of any process to find sponsors.

In Conclusion

Finding the right sponsor for your event is key to making your live entertainment event better. By doing research prior to reaching out to prospects, it will help your chances of securing the right sponsors for your event. You can also look at events with similar audiences to help start your list of prospects. Reaching out to established companies can help you to secure the funds or in-kind sponsorships that your event needs as well. The timing of when you start to reach out to find sponsors is important. The sooner that you start this process of finding prospects for a sponsorship, the better your odds will be at securing them.

Sponsorship marketing is a challenging effort. There are companies that do only sponsorship development.  Fortunately for you, TSE Entertainment provides sponsorship development for entertainment events as part of its full-service product line for entertainment events. Sponsorship development, booking, local production, online ticketing, full event production, event marketing are all part of the services we offer.

By combining sponsorship development with other entertainment services, TSE brings a unique solution to those events involving entertainment. TSE can leverage all the services to improve the odds of finding the right sponsorship companies for your events.

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About the Author

Olivia Hurtado

Olivia is a graduate of Berklee College of Music with a Bachelor’s in Music Business. She has a love for live music, songwriting and just an overall passion for music in general. She is excited about working in the music business and gaining experience and knowledge while on the TSE team.

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